Model: @melissa__martin

Model @feliciaverna

Hair: @alstyling

Makeup: @urbanglamher

Latest shoot from my Model Test Monday project.  Really enjoying shooting every single Monday.  

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Los Scandalous.  

My favorite city.  I shot these images of Kimera Morrell on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles.  She’s an ex New Jersey resident whom I’ve shot several times in my studio.  

We didn’t have permission to be here and our shoot took about 4 hours.  During that period, not one person came up to use the roof nor did anyone come up to tell us to leave.  Things would be different in NYC.  Any location with cool backgrounds and great lighting would have dozens of photographers setting up camp daily.

All images were shot on the Leica M9 and Leica M240 cameras.  The M9 is such a great camera, that it is still the first camera I reach for when the light is good.  Using it is much like using the M240, even though the M240 is a more advanced camera.  I give Leica a lot of credit for creating a camera like the M9 that is still worthwhile even when its superior successor is released.  

LOS SCANDALOS

I’m back from LA -one of my favorite places.  Actually I’m back from both San Diego and LA.  I went to SD to photograph a great artist named Michael “Monstro” Amorillo.  He’s currently working on a children’s book about a sea monster who can’t swim.  I’ll post some images of Michael in a future post.

Los Angeles was the main destination.  And the main reason for the trip was to train BJJ at 10th Planet.  The vibe there is so cool, and the head instructor, Eddie Bravo, is the closest thing to a rock star that you’ll find on a jiu jitsu mat.  I always feel like I’m home when I’m training there.  I put my daughter into classes at the Gracie Academy in Torrance.  The quality of instruction there is second to none and she really feels comfortable there. I  wish we had a kids jiu jitsu program of that quality here in NYC.  I might just have to start my own…

We also made a stop at the Leica gallery.  Nots sure why.  I own 2 of their bodies and several lenses. Not much left for me to buy from them at this point.  But there is that Monochrom -an $8,000 camera that shoots black and white only.  My wife was looking at an exhibit of black and white portraits shot with shallow depth of field.  She asked why I never shot her that way.  I told her, I don’t own a Monochrom and maybe she should get me one 😉

Knowing that wasn’t likely to happen, I asked to borrow the camera from the gallery for a few minutes.  I created the B&W shots you see here a few minutes later.  

Nikki

I met Nikki at the NY Open, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament I was shooting for the IBJJF a few months ago.  In the photo below, she is the one who is standing.

Despite the fact that she was trying to choke someone out when I met her, I knew she would be able to pull off a delicate beauty shot in my studio.  I reached out to her a few weeks later and she told me that she had never done any sort of modeling at all.  While I enjoy the expediency at which an agency model can complete a shoot, I also enjoy the experience of shooting an inexperienced model who doesn’t have any preconceived notions about what poses work for her and what poses don’t work.

I expected that she’s be a bit nervous coming into the shoot, but I knew the atmosphere in my studio -(non stop videos courtesy of Vevo on Apple TV), and the team I work with, would erase that pretty quickly.  

The goal was to make her hair as large and busy as possible and still convey a feeling of sensuality even though we would only see part of her face.  Needless to say, Nikki pulled it off.

Photographer: John Ricard @johnricard

Model: Nikki Mak IG@nikki_mak21

Nails: Shakinya IG@sohoxshakii

Hair and Makeup: Ashley Lee IG @Alstyling